Monday, July 03, 2006

UTTERLY LOST AND TERRIFIED

Words can hardly discribe what a parent goes through when they are faced with the nightmare of their child turning into someone they don't know.

My beautiful, kind, funny, goofy daughter has left the building. In her stead is someone who resembles her but has an empty look in her eyes, a different attitude in her demeanor and a cold tone to her voice.

We knew the teen yrs would not be easy, god knows we were also there once...Under different circumstances I was on my own in an apartment at 16 but that is a whole other post for another day.

The fact is, my daughter has met a whole new crowd...not a very healthy one at that. This happened less then 2 months ago so we started dealing with issues weeks ago. I was blogging about the wedding plans and all but among the joys of that I was dealing with a knot in my stumache concerning other things going on.

She started getting stoned, I saw it almost immediately. They think we parents are totally clueless...they can't fathom that we were once that age or that we can also be in the *know* about a few more things then them.

We then found stuff* hidden in her room. Harder then just pot. I would like to be able to blame the New Friends..and make them responsible for all that is happening with my daughter...they sure have helped BUT she made her own choices here. No one forsed her.

We consulted our friend who is a cop about how to proceed. He has even spoken to schools and parents about drugs and trouble in the past. He had a few good pieces of advise. ...My first instincts were to lock her in a room and swallow the key...and its the last thing I should do. He urged that we talk, we try to discuss, we keep the lines of comunications open, rather then closing them right off the bat. He was kind and caring towards us in explaining that it happens to the best of families. That there are steps that can be taken and tools to gather. I just keep asking myself where we went wrong. I have had the wind knocked out of me...and Chris is at my side trying to breath also. He has grown to love my daughter. My daughter's father has been late in the gate...took him a few clues to realize where we were at...but started taking things seriously.

We all talked to her, each in our own time ...trying to stay calm and open to discussion. Trying to get across to her that we loved her, we were afraid with what is happening, we want to understand...we want to help in any way...and if there was anything we could do to get through these things together.

This was a few weeks before the wedding...I even told her that if in anyway, she had problems with me getting married, although she always got along great with Chris...and I thought it would make a difference, I would cancel everything in a heartbeat...nothing was more important then her.

I also said that we couldn't keep her away from her friends, but we hoped that she would make better decisions. Keep her wits about her...be carefull and not just do any drugs without thinking. If she had any questions, we would find the answers.....all this went in an ear...did it all stick?...who knows...like our friend said...she may not want to say a word, and she hardly did, but the important thing was to say them anyway.

I would also like to blame my daughter dad and his gf for my daughters run to drugs. But again I can't do that either..and again though, it has helped. For the past few yrs since his gf moved in, she seemed to like to be boss...my ex always avoided taking charge solet her do it...this just always alientated Cleo more from the Gf...and it started causing major comflicts...Cleo would try to talk to her dad but instead of listening, he would go into automatic *defending gf mode* and blaming Cleo...it got to a point where she consulted a psychologist at school. It seemed to help and after school was out, we were going to continue with another one outside the school (because she was not allowed to see students outside school)..but she had summer school last yr and then we were off to Alberta and Sask on vacation. She had a great time and things seemed to calm down. She didn't want to consult someone else at that point.

I tryed doing stuff with her and also tryed keeping her busy...for instance, she wanted dance lessons, she got them. She wanted to learn the piano, my dad bought her one and started lessons right away. She is very good....She lacks for nothing...part of me wonders if that could also be part of it. She isnt spoiled rotton. She never asked for clothes or money, she hates to shop so she isn't one of those but she also knows we are pleased to get her the few things she does want.

Yes, I am banging my head on the wall....Things have escalated at a very fast pace...in short order, she has lost total respect for us and any rules. Started coming in late, respond rudely, doesn't give a shit about anything. We , Chris and I got a meeting with a centre for Drug action and information in our area. We spent an hour talking about all this and will continue to get councelling on our part to uptain tools and information. We will also be getting Cleo in to see someone at the same time ...She would get her own advocate who she can talk to and who is by law required to keep what ever she says confidential. This is how we sold Cleo the idea, she kinds shrugged and said whatever...I hope that once in there , she will open up. These ppl are trained to know what to do, and hopefully she will want to continue. ...The real pity is that with everyones holidays, we cant go till the 18th.

Her dad means to go there to...but we have been trying to deal with this together...its not perfect but we are comunicating. Cpl weeks ago when she was late and called to say she was staying at a friends house, we said NO WAY.. he called me right away, and it being a night of celebration here in Quebec, thousands of youths and ppl were in a huge part to enjoy the festivities...I told my ex, to grab me in passing and we would go get her together. We did just that. Called her on the cell, told her we were there waiting at the icecream place etc etc...took her and 3 of her friends home. We won that battle together that night.

Already , things are going from bad to worse ...we tryed being open to having her friends over , even had 3 girls sleep over...our thoughts on that were, better here then out there...well, didnt take long to see that..it wasn't really helping...and by association...there were other characters showing up out of the blue...wanting to talk to the other girls etc...come to find out, that they robbed a house across the street...then came to talk to my daughters friend..then left with the bike of the other friend...leaving a pair of shoes they stole from across the street..as if to say, haha we stole your bike but here are shoes for u to walk with.

Through talking to our neighbour cop friend ...who knows the other neighbours...figured out that the shoes belonged to them and they had been robbed of other stuff...They did get all back, only because cops acted fast...it helped I think because we had called the police earlier to report the bike...it seemed to put 2 and 2 together....but we tryed later talking to Cleo about...ppl by association and the problems it could bring. It didn't seem to sink in.

The 2 main friends she has, don't seem to have any time to be in at home, one was here 3 days almost. I could not believe that a parent never called here to ask about her, or to even talk to me and check us out or ask our address. There is no way in hell my daughter would hang out or sleep somewhere I havent talked to first hand. I realize saying that still hasn't prevented what has happened anyway.....I am terrifyed for her.

We started putting our foot down about times and whereabouts. She started to abide by them. Actually coming in a few mins before....We figured out why...She snuck out of the house , from her dad's...but didnt have proof....Then she did it here too....she may have done it a few times but last night was the first I caught it. I had the intuition that I shouldn't go to sleep....I then later went into her room to bring her the dog...and as Cleo often sleeps buried under a mountain of clothes, I thought nothing of it at first, so plopped the dog on her bed and went to give her a kiss while she was sleeping...(cause frankly..its probably the only time I can do that these days)....She was MIA... checked window..was opened a crack with the screen off.

She had slipped out right under my nose....I was even in the living room all evening.
Called her dad, cryed ofcourse and then we agreed that the police should be called. It can only break a parents heart to have to call the cops on their own kid. ...Cops did the rounds, bla bla bla , it was 5:30 am when they picked her up walking home with her 2 friends. They had been drinking. She wasn't drunk at all but I could smell it.

I had to take another stance this time...I told her that if she cared so little for herself I was not about to give up on her regardless...that if I had to call the cops every night I would, if I had to call the numbers of the 2 friends houses to wake them up and be a pain in the ass whether they cared or not, I WOULD......that I had also given numbers from the cell phone bill to the cops of all the numbers I didn't know... with the few names I already new. I also said that I would do anything I could to try and understand what was going on with her, that I would not give up because I loved her. I would be there to help her anytime she needed me but we also wanted some respect. Pulling this crap was just not going to fly. We are on tender hooks now.

If I push to hard, she could run away and we have lost her. If we don't we still lose her.

Give and take with some tolerance thrown in only goes so far. I am walking on razors edge trying to figure out what to do. Thankfully after last night, she didn't leave the house today...I had to go to a hospital appointment with my blind guy and Chris was here today but she didn't try anything. I did manage to get a few hours sleep this morning...Chris worked from midnight to 8 am replacing someone lastnight while this ordeal was unfolding but we were on the phone alot. He took care of the clients this morning when he got home and went to bed after I left for the hospital.

He is gone to work the night shift again...I am steeling myself for another long night...will she ?, won't she?...That is the question.

I had some major experiences growing up and over the yrs...One could think that because of that you would be able to better deal with this kind of thing. As a parent, your objectivity flys out the window..your mind is blank or trying to just breath. I have always been a logical person. I am often the one ppl come to when faced with a problem. I don't know more then anyone else, don't get me wrong but I can often see things with logic that is harder for the person living it. I also try to see things from different perspectives or just find the thread of common sense we sometimes lose along the way. Having said that...this time...like I said...I am totally lost and terrified. I feel helpless and useless all while grasping at straws of help or wisdom.

I realize this has turned into a book....I needed to write it if to only get it off my chest....It is not easy to put on paper any negative writings about ones own child. I only do so in the hope that it can help me put things in some kind of cohesive perspective by writting it out. Hopefully, I can also recieve some helpful advise from anyone who has some out there. Some support or encouragent never hurt either.

12 comments:

VM said...

The only people who can really hurt us are the ones we love, and our children most of all. God bless you in your struggle to save her..stay strong.

kelley said...

I cant see you doing anything wrong, if anything you and chris are going out of your way to show her the right path. All i can say is hang in there. Wish i could say things will get better over night, but we all know thats wishful thinking. Dont change what your doing. Only time will tell what path she will take. But remeber to take a breather, in what ever form you can. Cause if it gets harder, those breathers are what will help your peace of mind.
Was in the same spot, a few years back, when my eldest turned 12/13 and fell off the path. Can see, though i dont know how we managed it, but she turned into a wonderful mum and daughter.

Bess said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this, but it sounds like you're facing things with a great deal of strength and courage. Cleo couldn't have a better ally, even if she doesn't realize it now.

Almost all of the kids that I've met in my work this summer (and the men who were kids when they were first sent to prison) don't have anyone in their lives to love them as a parent should. No one was frightened for them when they started to go the wrong way, and no one would have called the police to bring them home again. To kick them out, maybe. And the few who come from supportive families but still managed to get into to trouble -- they're the ones who will get a second chance, not because of a bed or a job, but because Love is built into who they are, because they have family.

I don't know if that's helpful or not. What I'm trying to say is, you are doing the very best that you can do. Stay strong -- we're here for you too. :) And best wishes and good luck to Cleo too.

moon said...

You have no idea how touched I am that ppl who don't even know me, would take the time to write such lovely, encouraging comments.
They really help in supporting the idea that we are on the right path.
Bess, sweety, we have been reading eachothers blogs for a short while now...You already know how much your comment means to me. In the field you work, your insite brings home the basic truth..I really needed to hear it. I pray that my daughter realizes she has every reason to wize up...compared to all the young ppl who have nothing to lose or anyone to care either way.
Thank you so much for reminding me of that. It gives us hope.

gina said...

Moon, you hang on and do not let go! The world can be an unkind place to children who think they are prepared to handle it. I am so not looking forward to this with my 3 but I have several friends that are at wits end...Have you tried a mentor? There are often recovering/experienced people that do Big Brother/Big Sister things. Crossing my thumbs and eyes and EVERYthing else for you!

Mike said...

Well you can only do so much. Set boundaries and hope they come to their senses. There is hope though having been there with my son who is now a "normal" being that we knew as a youngster and not the stoned wide eyed idiot we dealt with for a few years.

Here is a Gazoo for any from Blogazoo that stop by.

Anna said...

Monette,

You and Chris are the best things that Cleo has going for her right now.

I know you're feeling a bit lost but you really are doing all the right things.

Now it's just a matter of time and consistentcy. With all your love, patience and total commitment to one another she will find her way back to you.

Until then you are all in my thoughts and prayers and I'm here for you.

*hugs*

Anonymous said...

I just read about you having trouble with your daughter. Brought back memories when I started having problems with my recently deceased daughter. As I have been looking back at our life together, I tried all the things that you are trying now and it just didn't make a difference. There is one thing that I didn't try to keep her away from the friends, of course I grounded her she was away from them at that time, but I believe if I had it to do all over again I would keep her away from her friends at all cost. I wanted to give her friends the benefit without doubt. She did have some good friends. You know in the end not one of her so called friends came to her funernal. I don't blame the friends for her behavior, but if your having a hard time with something those kind of friends can only give bad advise. You will know who those friends are,just beware Keep the faith and I will be praying for you. I have raised 4 teenager and they are trying years, when drugs come into the picture it can only lead to heartache.

Love
Cindy

CyberCelt said...

There is nothing I can say except most parents go through this. I put my mother through it, my son is putting me through it.

Between teenagers learning to drive, the war, and drugs...its like they are all doomed.

Things you can do:
- take the door off her room and walk in often just to say hey or talk
- confiscate any substance or implement of drug use you find--and LOOK for them.
- nail or superglue her window shut. Yes, its a fire hazard, but fire is not what is going to kill her.

I will pray for you. Pray for me.

Shannon said...

I've tried calling and leaving im's for you to lend you my support just in case you want to talk. I won't force myself on you, you know I'm here for you if you need me.

Hope to hear from you.

JustSue said...

Monette & Chris, Oh my heart aches to hear you are going through what I went through with the boy. I have to admit that the years from 13-16 were a nightmare in one form or another. He was sneaking out of the house at night, stealing my car, getting suspended from school, smoking pot and stealing cash from my wallet. It was heartbreaking to have to take my car keys and purse to bed with me everynight because I couldn't trust my own flesh and blood. It seemed to be one thing after another.

I tried everything. I shouted, screamed, pleaded, cried, begged - you name it. I grounded him, took away computer and X-Box access - anything I could think of. I finally took him to see a family psychologist. To this day I have no idea what they talked about at all those sessions. It was around that time that I started our "Sunday Matinee" tradition. Every week without fail we would go to the movies, taking turns to pick the movie. Some weeks the only time we would have a civil word between us would be on the drive home from the show, when we would talk about the movie. But it kept the lines of communication open and gave us something to do together (so hard for mother and son at times to find activities they BOTH like to do!) The only time he could bare to be near me was to sit next to me during the 2 hours the show was on. And I cherished those moments. My loving, cuddly little blonde haired boy vanished so fast when puberty hit. Suddenly there was a sullen teenager in his place who loved to slam around the house with a permanent frown on his face. I missed the hugs, the kisses, the declarations that I was the bestest mom in the world. It took a long time, but I persisted and I am slowly seeing him mature now into a loving and considerate young man. Sure there are still times when things aren't perfect - but the good far outweigh the bad at the moment, and for that I am eternally grateful. I think what I am saying is hang in there, love her, be there for her when she needs you, but don't be afraid to punish her when needed (grounding etc). Teens actually need and respond to boundaries and rules. Stick to your guns. If you need to talk hun you know where to find me. Believe me, I do know what you are going through.

andrena said...

hmmm...sigh...

here's a hug! Lord knows you probably need it.
I don't know what to tell you. I just passed my 18th year of sobriety. At 33 I went in to residential drug rehab. that was as a result of suicidal thoughts and my children being taken away from me...
I have a 13 yr old now...hard as it is to say, if I saw all those signs and exhausted all means..I would go for an intervention....

also...something that someone told me long ago...when your children start pulling away...you hold them tighter...

alas...sometimes you can do everything, and nothing helps...

don't blame yourselves...but at all means..do whatever it takes to save her life...

here's another hug!